Real Estate Tips March 13, 2024

Real Estate Tips: 8 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Greater Palm Springs

Palm Springs, CA

Is the desert calling you? If you’re dreaming of owning a home in Greater Palm Springs, I can’t blame you. With over 330 days of sunshine a year, stunning mountain views, and loads of things to do, it’s a paradise for those seeking a vibrant outdoor lifestyle. Before you embark on your house-hunting journey however, here are 8 crucial factors to consider before buying a home in Greater Palm Springs.

Fee vs Lease Land

Do you know the difference between Fee vs Lease Land?   If not, here’s some background information.  Fee Land is the typical standard across the United States where the homeowner owns the land underneath the structure of their property. Lease Land however came about in 1876, when the United States government deeded 52,000 acres of land to the Agua Caliente Band of Indians in the Coachella Valley. 6,700 of those acres are in Palm Springs alone. As a result, it is estimated that over 23,000 residential properties are on leased land in the Coachella Valley. In Leased Land, a landowner within the Agua Caliente Band of Indians owns the land underneath the property and you as a homeowner would be paying a lease fee to the tribe on a monthly basis.  While some prefer to purchase a home on fee land, purchasing a residence on Lease Land can have its benefits as well, such a lower home price with more bang for your buck but it is important to check out and see when the lease expires.

Windy Conditions

Living in the Coachella Valley means embracing the occasional gusts. Be prepared for windy conditions, particularly in certain areas within  Palm Springs,  Cathedral City, and Rancho Mirage. Typically the windiest season is between April, May, and June.   Make sure to understand where the windier areas are located and see if this would be a factor for you in your home buying process.

Pool or No Pool & Pepple Tec vs Plaster

Pools are a hallmark of desert living, offering respite from the heat. However, weigh the maintenance costs, safety concerns, and lifestyle preferences before deciding whether to invest in a home with a pool.  For instance, while some prefer a private pool in their backyard, others enjoy swimming in their association pool where they don’t have to pay for out of pocket expenses like maintenance.  In addition, if you are purchasing a home with a pool, make sure to know the difference between Pebble Tec vs Plaster.  While Pebble Tec may be more expensive, the surfaces of pebble tec pools are stain resistant and long lasting, making the investment in pebble tec well worth it.

Handling the Summer Heat

Summer temperatures in the Coachella Valley can soar, easily exceeding 100°F and even 120 degrees Faraneit in th s ummer months. Explore options for shade, efficient cooling systems, and energy-saving measures to stay comfortable year-round and make sure that you.

It’s Not Just Palm Springs

The Coachella Valley comprises many vibrant cities in addition to Palm Springs such as , Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes and more.. each with its own unique charm, diversity, and amenities. Explore the many neighborhoods of the Coachella Valley to find out which one matches your lifestyle.


In greater Palm Springs homeowners have a choice: to live in a community governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) or in a neighborhood without one.  Living in a neighborhood with an HOA provides a sense of security and uniformity. Rules are in place to maintain property standards, ensuring the community remains pristine.  On the other hand, neighborhoods without an HOA offer residents more freedom to express their individuality. Homeowners have the flexibility to customize their properties to their liking. HOA communities often come with a range of amenities, from swimming pools to tennis courts, providing residents with convenient access to recreational activities and fostering a sense of community.: However, neighborhoods without an HOA can foster a strong sense of community through organic interactions and grassroots initiatives, like for instance neighborhood block parties or community clean-up days. Whether you prefer the structure of an HOA or the freedom of a non-HOA neighborhood, Palm Springs offers diverse housing options to suit every lifestyle.

Investment Property Opportunities

Are you looking to invest in real estate in the Palm Springs area?  Maybe you want to come out to the Desert to enjoy your property and rent it out when you are not here.  There are potential lucrative opportunities waiting for you.  Some neighborhoods in Palm Springs allow short-term rentals, catering to the ever-growing tourism industry. Investors can capitalize on this demand, generating high rental income during peak seasons.  However, be careful.  Make sure you understand the rules around short term rentals in Palm Springs.  For instance, if the neighborhood you are looking at already havs 20% of their housing stock certified for short term rentals, you are out of luck and will not be able to get a short term rental permit.  Other cities in the Coachella Valley such as Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City do not allow short term rentals at all however, seasonal rentals longer than 30 days may present a positive investment option for you.  Make sure you work with an experienced Realtor who understands the neighborhoods and how it relates to your investment strategies

Financial Preparedness

Buying a home is a significant financial undertaking. It is important to consult with a Mortgage Representative to better understand what you can qualify for before jumping in and looking at homes in the Coachella Valley.  Knowing your financial strategy and buying power is key to success when purchasing a home.

By considering these 8 factors, you’ll be well-equipped to find your dream home in the vibrant Oasis of Greater Palm Springs.

The Author, Eric Gray, is a REALTOR®️ with Better Homes and Gardens Desert Lifestyle Properties, CA DRE 02225444